Silksinger (Dreamdark) by Laini Taylor

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Silksinger (Dreamdark) by Laini Taylor

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley
Summary: This sequel to the first Dreamdark story Blackbringer introduces many new characters alongside Magpie Windwitch, Talon and their company of crows. The parallel world of Dreamdark with its population of faerie clans, hobgoblins, devils and snags draws on a range of classic fantasy themes, and is more vividly brought to life in this sequel than in the first tale.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0399246319

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The book revolves around two faeries, Whisper and Hirik, and through them we are introduced to two additional faerie clans. Hirik has a life threatening secret to protect, while Whisper Silksinger is the last surviving member of her clan. She is charged with protecting the Dijinn Azazel. The Azazel, according to the Dreamdark mythology, is one of the Dijinn fire elementals who dreamed the world into being and wove the Tapestry of Creation. Restoring the Dijinn to their rightful place while battling devils is the focus of the Dreamdark books. The story moves between several settings and characters, and this successfully builds dramatic tension.

O.K. I must confess I nearly gave up on the first book in the series – some of the mannerisms such as the rather twee ach and neh instead of yes and no were becoming irritating rather than atmospheric. But I'm glad I didn't because I would have missed some great characters in Silksinger. There is some enjoyable breaking of stereotypes in the dynamic female faerie Magpie, who dominates her 'family' of crows, while her male friend Talon follows her lead (and excels at knitting). Whisper and Hirik are convincingly drawn as are some of the new minor characters such as Slomby: a pale-skinned creature of the underground, equipped with a shell to retreat into when life becomes too frightening. Whisper gets the reader's attention from the start – here is her introduction in the opening words of the book:

Whisper Silksinger knew two kinds of death. There was the peaceful kind, quiet as eyelids fluttering shut, and there was the kind with teeth, sudden as a spurt of blood, a devil pounce, a scream. She had seen both. Of her whole clan only three faeries remained, and now death had come for them too. And it had come with teeth.

I, for one, wanted to know what happened next.

Credible characters and fast-paced action make up for the still rather misty mythology of the Dreamdark world. The story takes place in a range of fantastic settings with an array of different clans and types, but quite how the whole fits together was not entirely clear to me. That said, this is an exciting, well paced tale, and if you are a fan of the faerie-fantasy genre it is well worth reading.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If you like to read series books in order try Laini Taylor [[Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer before reading Silksinger. Teen readers may like to try Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale by Holly Black or Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books.

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